ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

How to create successful webinars

Now that you know the 5 benefits of webinars for your school, are you up for the challenge of creating one? Follow these 8 steps for webinars to lift your school brand, build your audience and enhance the relationships you have with students, grads and prospects.

Choose your topic with your target in mind. If you expect to run a successful webinar, you need to provide good information to the right people. Let’s say your school has several healthcare certification programs. A webinar about healthcare careers that do not require a degree might resonate well with your prospects. Just remember, the purpose of your webinar isn’t to push those prospects to enroll; it’s to educate them about their options.

Enlist appropriate panelists. You may have the resources within your own organization to script, produce and carry out a great webinar. But instead of relying solely on in-house talent, consider stepping outside into the broader world. From the example above, wouldn’t it be great to enlist some professionals from those careers you refer to? Or what about area employers hoping to hire new grads?

Produce a quality webinar and practice before you go live. Set goals about what you hope to accomplish with your webinar and create a script and visuals that are informative and appealing. Don’t be boring!

Allow for plenty of promotion time. Any good event planner gives attendees enough notice so they can add the event to their calendar. Plan to send out at least three different emails that have different angles. Maybe the first one could ask them if they’re happy with their current job and explain the careers your event might cover. Later, you might introduce the panelists. Still later, you might remind them of the impending deadline.

Promote consistently across media. Email is a great direct marketing tool to hit a specific target but it’s by no means the only one you should use to promote your webinar. Use social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out. Just be certain to use consistent messaging and branding. A quick glance at your Tweet about the webinar should elicit an audience response of –oh yeah, that’s the webinar I want to attend.

Keep the registration simple. Less than half of the people who click to “register now” actually complete the form. Why? Most likely it’s because the form is just too cumbersome and they’ve got better things to do. When it comes to your webinar registration form, keep it simple! Yes, you want their information, but you also want them to come and participate in your webinar, so don’t scare them off with a complicated form.

Link to a calendar tool. You don’t just want people to register. You want them to attend. Make it as easy as possible by linking your webinar directly to their calendar. This way when the big day arrives they won’t forget to tune in and neither one of you will be disappointed.

Be interactive. Your audience is coming to you because they believe you’re going to teach them something worthwhile. Do that, but do even more. Respect them—and their intellect—by including them in on the conversation. Their insight could teach you a thing or two about the subject matter you’re discussing. Even better, you could learn about your audience and what to talk about in your next webinar!

If you’d like to conduct a webinar but aren’t sure that you have the tools to do it on your own, let us help. Contact Effective Student Marketing today and we’ll give you some tips and tricks that will help you create a successful webinar.

~Linda